How can we make renal medicine careers more appealing to UK trainees? (2019)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Karangizi A.H.K.; Chanouzas D.; Foggensteiner L.; *Mahdi A.

Clinical Kidney Journal; Feb 2019; vol. 12 (no. 5); p. 756-759

Background: There is a global decline in interest in careers in renal medicine. This is concerning given the increasing global burden of kidney disease. Previous studies in the USA and Australia have identified factors such as a poor work-life balance, lack of role models and the challenging nature of the speciality as possible reasons behind recruitment struggles. This study aimed to identify factors associated with declining interest among trainees in the UK.
Method(s): We conducted a survey of 150 National Health Service Foundation trainees (interns) and Core Medical Trainees in Health Education West Midlands. Participants completed a 14-part paper-based questionnaire capturing data on trainee demographics, medical school and postgraduate exposure to renal medicine and perceptions of a career in renal medicine.
Result(s): There was limited early clinical exposure to renal medicine both in terms of time spent in the speciality and perceived exposure to the range of domains of the speciality. Trainees perceived the speciality as complex with a heavy workload. Very few trainees considered the speciality to be lifestyle oriented. There was also disinterest in taking on the associated general medicine commitments of the training programme. Job experience and identification of role models increased the likelihood of consideration of the speciality.
Conclusion(s): This survey has identified key areas to drive interest in the speciality, including early engagement, enthusiastic supervision and increased training flexibility. Urgent attention is required to address these areas and make renal medicine careers more appealing.

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